Province seeking consulting services ahead of proposed changes to Peggy’s Cove

A sign warns visitors about the dangerous waves that can be found at Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia. Alexander Quon/Global News

Changes may soon be coming to the area around Nova Scotia’s iconic Peggy’s Cove.

A tender issued on Friday by Development Nova Scotia is looking for consulting services as the province seeks to revitalize the infrastructure at one of Nova Scotia’s most iconic tourist attractions — Peggy’s Cove.

Development Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Crown corporation tasked with growing the province’s economy and leading sustainable development, said Peggy’s Cove offers the “quintessential Nova Scotia” experience with its crashing waves, granite rocks and historic lighthouse.

But its popularity has also created issues around “issues around crowds, traffic congestion and circulation, servicing, accessibility and transportation,” said Deborah Page, a spokesperson for Develop Nova Scotia.

Those issues are exacerbated by the growing number of cruise ships in Halifax and they’re having a negative impact on the surrounding community and for visitors.

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With the goal of improving the visitor experience at the iconic location, Development Nova Scotia is in the process of developing a master plan to shape the tourist attraction for years to come.

The request for consultants is one of the steps in developing the plan, which seeks to “identify physical improvements that support, expand and enhance the visitor experience” and address the “immediate and long-term infrastructure needs.”

The province is looking to create a new gravel parking lot, raise the road through the village by a metre in preparation for rising sea levels and install more public washrooms at the site’s visitor information centre.

All of these improvements are to supposed to have a design service life of 80 to 100 years.

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The new parking lot is meant to function as overflow parking for the site and will be gated off when not in use.

“The lot is to be accessed off of Highway 333 and may require a left-turn lane,” the tender reads.

“It will also be graded in a manner that it is set down approximately two metres into the landscape and located behind a ridge such that cars will not be visible in the lot either from the community or from Highway 333.”

The master plan also proposes the creation of a new traffic management system to help alleviate traffic congestion. The possible fixes include a gate system and shuttle service.

The creation of an expanded wharf area, a community breakwater and the implementation of viewing platforms are among the other proposed changes.

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An expansion of the composting toilet facility is also in the cards. The existing facility has been in place for 25 years and has “generally been considered a success,” according to the tender.

More washroom facilities are required as a result of the increasingly large crowds during the summer and cruise ship season.

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Page said that $2 million will be invested in enhancing Peggy’s Cove and that part of the consultant’s job will be to provide cost estimates.

“[Work] will begin implementation in 2020/21, largely in periods that avoid peak tourism season,” she said.

“There is no specific timeframe established for other projects outlined in the RFP as the tendered design work is needed to establish feasibility and cost estimates, enabling funding assembly to commence.”

The tender was issued on Nov. 22 and is set to close on Dec. 10.

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